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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Book Review: At The End Of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

At The End Of Everything
By Marieke Nijkamp
January 25, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ASIN: B091572X47 

ISBN: 9781492673156
The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day...they don't show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There's a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they're stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.


Teenagers arrested or needing help, but not deemed hopeless, are sent to the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. Where they soon learn to follow the routine. Up at six, the movement line, headcount, and breakfast at seven. Two wings have school in the morning, the other two in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner at set times, with bedtime at nine. It never changes. 

The novel is in first person, with the name of the character at the top of the page, as several tell the story from their viewpoint. The main three are Grace, Logan (both she and her sister, Leah, were sent to the place), and Emerson (a binary character). I liked that all three actually grow in their characters, unlike many books where the main characters never do. 

One night the teens realize all the staff is gone and the teens have been abandoned. Grace has one of the kids, a boy nicknamed the Professor, use the warden’s computer. They learn a terrible plague is happening, and that the warden knew and left them there to fend for themselves. A group of kids leaves, those remaining work to take care of themselves, especially when one of the girls, Leah, comes down with the virus.

Intense thriller, with danger from either the virus, adults, or one of their own, this Young Adult has many elements that might be considered disturbing to some readers, including death. There are warnings at the beginning of the book. But the story is good, and I really learned to like some of the girls and boys, especially the main characters. Since the author admitted having Covid and working on this book during the pandemic lockdown. You see the parallels between the story and people's real-life reactions (like one of the kids' uncles who said it was all a government conspiracy--not real) when they are dealing with so much death and being forced on lockdown. Except for the virus in this story is a lot scarier and deadlier.

Most would not want to read a book about a pandemic while we are going through one, but this was a good book, with likable characters. And can be enjoyed by young and older adults.

I gave At the End of Everything 4 sheep





Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Marieke Nijkamp is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels, graphic novels, and comics, including This Is Where It Ends, At The End Of Everything, Critical Role: Vox Machina – Kith & Kin, and The Oracle Code. Her short stories can be found in several anthologies. She also edited the anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens.

Marieke is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and geek. Before pursuing her lifelong passion for writing, she majored in philosophy and medieval history. She loves to go on adventures, roll dice, and daydream. She lives and writes in Small Town, The Netherlands.

Marieke is the founder of DiversifYA and was a founding sr. VP of We Need Diverse Books. Find her on Twitter.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Funky Werepig Ep 14 The Blues with Lady A and Werepig B

 The Funky Werepig Show

Season 2: Episode #14

It's all high-fives and disco hip bumps! The Women in Blues (WiB) have taken over the No Pants Zone and we got the Original LADY A in the spotlight! YES. The Original LADY A!

Everybody is singing. Lady A is singing. JJ Glamour is singing. And Greg is making a joyful noise. Still working on the joyful part. 

Lady A
Voted 2020 and 2021 Female Blues Performer of the Year by the Washington Blues Society (WBS)
Lady A has been a Pacific NW favorite for 20+ year in the business. Nationally and Internationally known, Lady A, has a high energy show has been compared to the likes of "Tina Turner" and "Chaka Khan" ~ a smile that easily draws the audience in with her sultry-husky voice and contemporary blues-funk style and like a Good pot-a-Gumbo, Lady A is best served HOT!

Lady A's Motto in life: "Be Blessed and Be A Blessing"

**Make sure you don't miss** 
-commercial for Happy Puppy Carpet Strips!
-JJ's song "Hug an A**hole"
-January I Smell Sheep book graphic novel recommendation!

Watch the show HERE

The Funky Werepig
Once a live internet radio show. Kind of like Animal House meets Larry King. Now a YouTube show. And no one knows what the hell Animal House or Larry King are. So throw your pants in the air like you just don't care!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The North Wind (The Four Winds, #1) by Alexandria Warwick + giveaway

The North Wind (The Four Winds, #1)
by Alexandria Warwick
January 13th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Lush. Dark. Romantic. Introducing a newly reimagined tale written in the vein of Beauty and the Beast and Hades and Persephone.

Long before civilization, there were the gods. And before the gods, there was the earth, the celestial bodies, and air given flesh. They are the Anemoi—the Four Winds—and they have been banished to the four corners of the world.

Wren of Edgewood is no stranger to suffering. Her parents are gone. Survival is all she knows. For three hundred years, the land known as the Gray has been encased in ice, surrounded by a great barrier called the Shade, which protects the townsfolk from the Deadlands beyond.

But day by day, the Shade weakens.

Only one thing can stop the Shade’s fall: a mortal woman taken captive across the barrier, bound in wedlock to the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands. He is the North Wind, the Frost King, an immortal whose heart is said to be as frigid as the land he rules.

And the time has come for the Frost King to choose his bride.


The North Wind is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance, the first in a series sprinkled with Greek lore. Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Laura Thalassa, and Scarlett St. Clair.


About the Author:
Website-InstagramAlexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the author of The Demon Race and the North series.




Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
North

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

LGBTQ Poetry: The Moon Resides in Her Heart by Isabel Scheck

by Isabel Scheck
November 28, 2021
Poetry, LGBTQ poetry
Sapphic Haikus (LGBTQ poetry) In which some people are too pretty not to write about; sometimes they just have moons residing in their hearts.






One
Pretty as rainbows,
I do adore pretty girls,
Cute as anything,

Two
I think she’s pretty
Cute smiles and shy glances,
But she loves me not

Three
Meteors pound when
she’s around in the form of
heartbeats and sorrow.

About the Author
My name is Isabel and I am 24 years old. I come from England, but I’ve lived in Switzerland my whole life. I love writing and drawing and have been doing that since I was 13 years old. My first ever self-published book on sale was published in March, 2018. It is called “When Daisies and Thunderstorms Collide”. I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoyed writing/drawing them! :)

RABT Book Tours & PR

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Midlife Shifter Unexpected (Cougar Creek Coven, #2) by Melle Amade + giveaway

Midlife Shifter Unexpected 
(Cougar Creek Coven, #2)
by Melle Amade
January 18th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Women’s Fiction
My new BFF is a witch and apparently, I’m a member of a witch’s coven. Only, I’m not a witch. Word is, I’m a wolf shifter. When I said I wanted to start over again, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

Being a shifter isn’t the worst thing I could imagine. It’s taken care of all the hot flashes. My body temperature now runs constantly high. I like it. Snow? Who cares? I don’t need no stinking coat anymore.

I can smell like ten times better than even when I was pregnant, and as for my vision? Glasses are SO last year. I won’t be needing those anytime soon.

But man, what about the actual shifting? That hurts like nobody’s business. They say I’ll get used to it, but they don’t know how much it hurts, because I’m the only shifter for miles around. “They” are the coven that has accepted me and given me a new family.

The threat from the cemetery is very real and the dead aren’t sleeping quietly. Our coven is the frontline on keeping the dead in their graves and for some reason, they think because I’m a wolf I should have some superpower against the dead. But I don’t.

What I have is an amazing BFF just as powerful and middle-aged as me and I know together we can face anything. At least I think we can. We survived the first half of our lives.

How hard can the second magic half be?


A hot new series celebrating midlife, friendship, and older women who crave adventure by Melle Amade. Perfect for fans of K.F. Breene, Shannon Mayer, Jana DeLeon, Darynda Jones, Robin Peterman, Elizabeth Hunter and Denise Grover Swank.

BOOK EXCERPT ONE:
“That’s her?” A deep voice came from the front door.

“See anyone else around here, Branson?” Bianca swiveled away from me and spoke to the golden man who stood by the front door.

His laughter reverberated from his throat and all the way to my thighs. My eyes opened wide as I looked him over. Thankfully he was staring down at his phone, his golden eyes almost hidden by his blond locks falling forward over his tan skin. He wore a plaid red, white, and blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He was broad, lean, and muscular, and way too young for me.

“Who the heck is that?” I asked.

“Your caretaker,” Bianca raised an eyebrow at me.

“My caretaker?” I asked.

“The caretaker of The Estate,” Bianca explained it slowly as if she was talking to an ignoramus, which at the moment I actually felt like.

“The Estate,” I repeated like a parrot. Then suddenly snapped out of it. “Aunt Emma’s estate! Okay! Got it.”

“Round here we all just call it The Estate,” Bianca said with a shrug.

“And that’s the caretaker?” I whispered to Bianca, my voice catching in my throat.

“Every last inch of him,” she nodded, stealing a covert glance at the tall, broad man who dwarfed the front office space of the Cougar Creek cop shop.

“Lord have mercy,” I said under my breath.

Branson went straight to the sign-in sheet as if this wasn’t his first time here. But his handsome features scowled as he looked over at me. I stared back as he stepped across the sheriff’s office to tower above me, his arms folded over his chest.

“Well, that’s not intimidating at all.” I craned my neck to look up at him.

He started as if he hadn’t been aware of himself, took a step back, and unfolded his arms. “You’re Mae.” He stated the obvious. “I’m here to drive you home.”

“That’s a long way to drive." My mind suddenly thought of a long leisurely drive back to L.A. with my caretaker, Branson.

“Pardon?” Branson looked at me a bit confused.

“Never mind.” I stood up turning to Bianca. “Do you need anything else from me tonight? It’s late and I’m exhausted. You are remanding me into Branson’s custody?”

“My custody? I’m just giving you a ride home.” Branson held up his hands in protest.

"Sheriff said you're to verify who she is, take her home, and bring her back tomorrow to get her jeep," Bianca confirmed for Branson.

I covertly looked him over thinking I wouldn’t mind being in his very good hands. But instantly my heart squeezed. Men weren’t safe; not at all. As I poured back through the years of lies, I realized there was probably not one single moment of truth in my relationship with my ex-gay husband. How was I ever going to trust any man ever again? Clearly, I was an idiot; a vulnerable, gullible idiot who believed anything anybody said to me.

“Are you sure he’s safe to take me to my house?” I asked Bianca.

“I have a police tracker on,” Branson wiggled his leg.

“Seriously?” I took a step back.

Bianca and Branson burst out laughing. “No not seriously,” Bianca said. “There’s only one person around here on the radar.”

“And it’s not me.” Branson pointed out. “Now come on. I’ve got a poker game waiting for me. Let me get you home and all tucked in.”

I looked over my shoulder at Bianca and we both did a slight giggle at his words, clearly thinking the same thing about being tucked in. It was a relief to feel an instant bond to this other middle-aged divorced woman, even though she’d never left this town. I guess that was nothing to hold against someone.

I shook my head as I trailed behind Branson to the door.

I wasn’t here to make friends. I wasn’t here to have romance. I was here to get some space, clear my head, and more than likely sell a house. My divorce was almost through and then I could start my new life.

Branson held the door open for me. “I’ll take you home, boss, and have you delivered to your jeep in the morning.”

My stomach sank. That’s right. He was my employee.

Well, of the estate, but as I was the sole owner of the estate, he was still my employee.

And a “no fraternizing with the staff” rule went without saying. There was no way to even have a little fling with Mr. Rock Solid Biceps.

He was way off-limits.

About the Author:
Website-FB-InstagramUSA Today Bestselling Author. Farm Girl. Marketing Director.

Since I was eight, I have been writing stories that capture the adventures in my head and the characters strong enough and flawed enough to have them. When I look at an empty field, I see a formidable citadel. When I meet a vulnerable old man, I greet an emeritus warrior. When I walk through city streets, I feel dimensions hiding around every turn. It has been my lifelong passion to explore these worlds that reveal the pain of loneliness, the joy or self-actualization, and the hope of magic.

I grew up in a place called Potter Valley where the Milky Way is held aloft by a circle of mountains and the central business district consists of a bait store and a saloon. At 19 I moved alone to London and spent the next ten years exploring the world, even becoming an Australian citizen, before I returned to California and found a new home in Los Angeles. My world revolves around my two wee children, storytelling, and my love of travel.

GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 17, 2022

New Release: Pirate's Paradox (Sentinels of Savannah Book 6) by Lisa Kessler + Giveaway

Pirate's Paradox (Sentinels of Savannah Book 6)
by Lisa Kessler
Jan 17, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pirate Caleb Graves may be an immortal, but he’s also a navigator and a man of science. And yet he can’t explain the erratic tides threatening Savannah. Nor the terrible dreams of sailing through a vicious, supernatural storm that he keeps having. But when fascinating, petite dynamo Diana Williams marches up to his ship and demands to speak to the captain, Caleb is caught up in a wave of unexpected fear…and an electric frisson of longing for this captivating woman.

Diana wouldn’t be a true psychic if she didn’t listen to her spirit guide. So when dream after dream compels her to visit specific coordinates in the Atlantic, she can’t ignore it. Now, she just needs a ship. Good thing she knows about a particular pirate ship that’s in tip-top shape. Complete with a surly, albeit hot, navigator who doesn't immediately believe in her visions. But no matter how much Caleb objects, she’ll risk sending the entire crew—including herself—to the uncharted ocean.

But both their dreams could be the key to saving Savannah and may even be a clue about the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Or it could damn them all to an unforgiving, watery grave.

About the Author
Website-FB-Twitter
Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She's a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Giveaway
$20 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Excerpt: Lightning in a Mirror (Fogg Lake #3) by Jayne Ann Krentz

by Jayne Ann Krentz
January 18, 2022
Berkley Hardcover
Book 3 of 3
New York Times bestselling romantic thriller writer Jayne Ann Krentz returns this fall with the explosive final installment of her chilling Fogg Lake trilogy. Whispers of the elusive Vortex lab have erupted the paranormal underground into chaos, and it is up to psychics Olivia LeClair and Harlan Rancourt to find it before its immense power falls into the wrong hands in LIGHTNING IN A MIRROR.

Private Investigator Olivia LeClair wasn’t sure what to expect when she signed up for the Four Event Success Guaranteed speed dating package, but a run-in with a serial killer certainly wasn’t on the list. Thinking it couldn’t get much stranger than that, Olivia decides to give it another shot. Of course, when you’re a powerful aura reader from a mysterious town buried under government conspiracies, strange doesn’t even begin to cover it.

So, when Harlan Rancourt, a man long thought to be dead, shows up at the next round of speed dating, she takes it in stride. After years on the run from the Foundation, a shadowy organization that both protects and polices psychics, Harlan is sure he’s finally found a lead on the mysterious Vortex, which played a role in permanently altering the DNA of every resident in Fogg Lake. He’s convinced that Olivia, a direct descendent of powerful oracles in Fogg Lake, is the only one who can help him locate the lab.

Olivia isn’t convinced. She’s not an oracle, and though she has powerful psychic energy, so do plenty of others. She doesn’t even know if she can trust Harlan. Though he looks perfectly “average” on the surface, Olivia immediately sensed he was far more powerful than the Foundation knew—and there was a very real possibility that he only resurfaced to claim leadership of the Foundation for himself. But when Harlan tells Olivia that Vortex may be the key to uncovering her mother’s killer, she has no choice but to follow him into the depths of danger and secrecy before those hunting the lab—and the oracle at its center—catch up to them.

EXCERPT
“If I disappeared tomorrow would you walk into hell to find me?” Olivia asked.

She did not look up from her phone. She wasn’t supposed to be on it. The rules of the speed dating event were quite specific about that. All phones, watches and assorted tech were to be powered down for the evening. But she had concluded the event was a waste of time, so she had palmed her phone from her handbag. She was now holding it under the edge of the cocktail table, where the event coordinator could not see it.

The knee-length burnt orange wool coat she was examining was stunning, but, sadly, the color was over-the-top for Seattle. Most of the outerwear on the city’s streets came in shades of gray, black, navy and forest green. If she were to stroll down Pine Street in a burnt orange coat, she might as well carry a sign that shouted tourist.
The man who had just sat down on the other side of the small, round table did not respond to the question. With a sigh, she looked up. It was obvious from his uncertain expression that he thought she was texting.

“I said, if I disappeared tomorrow would you walk into hell to find me?” she said.

“Excuse me?” He looked around and then leaned forward. He lowered his voice. “I think they said that we should turn off our phones.”

“Sorry.” She dropped the phone into her large handbag, wedging it between her turmeric-yellow wallet and the vintage camera. She took a closer look at her new date. The name tag stuck on his shirt identified him as Nathan.

“Hi, Nathan. I’m Olivia,” she said, going for bright and sparkly. “I’ll repeat my question. If I disappeared tomorrow would you walk into hell to find me?”

“Uh.” Nathan got a deer-in-the-headlights look.

She recognized the expression. Nathan was rapidly coming to the conclusion that she was weird. Within the next thirty seconds he would do what the previous dates had done—excuse himself and take off to find the restroom, where he would hide out until the bell rang.

It was not Nathan’s fault she had signed up for the Four Event Success Guaranteed package offered by the speed dating agency. So far most of the people she had met had been nice. A bit boring—but nice. The experiment had been a disaster for her, however.

She had purchased the package because it was 20 percent off. The first event had been a washout, but she had told herself to be optimistic. You couldn’t expect immediate success. But now she was midway through the second event and the prospects were looking even more dismal.

“I’m not sure exactly what you mean,” Nathan said.

He did a quick, furtive glance around the room. It didn’t take any psychic talent to know he was searching for the restrooms

She gave him another shiny smile. “The matchmaker said we are supposed to ask each other questions. That’s my question.”

“Oh.” Nathan cleared his throat. “Well, uh, I guess it would, you know, depend.”

At least Nathan was considering his answer, not running for the restroom. That was promising.

“What would it depend on?” she asked.
“How well I knew you. Whether or not you and I were, you know, close.”

“And if we were close?” she pressed. “Then would you walk into hell to find me?”

Panic sparked in Nathan’s eyes. He glanced at the table where the event coordinator sat. When he realized there was no salvation coming from that direction, he made a heroic effort to move forward.

“My turn,” he said, bubbling with artificial enthusiasm. “My question is, where do you like to go on vacation?”
“Hawaii. My turn. If I went missing would you walk into—”

“I guess I’d call your friends first,” Nathan said. He sat back in the booth, putting a little more distance between them. “See if they knew where you were. 

Then, uh, maybe call the cops. Hey, I like Hawaii, too. Do you snorkel?”

“No.” She leaned forward, closing the space he had just made. “How hard would you look for me?”

“Well, uh, I’m not an expert when it comes to search and rescue work. Don’t you need a dog for that?” Nathan shot to his feet. 

“Excuse me. Gotta hit the restroom. Be right back.”

And another one bites the dust. No, that wasn’t right, Olivia thought. I’m the one who just bit the dust. Again. She realized she didn’t care. The speed dating experiment was a failure. If she hadn’t bought the Four Event Success Guaranteed package she would leave right now. But she had made an investment, and the fine print was firm—no refunds.

From LIGHTNING IN A MIRROR published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Jayne Ann Krentz.


About the Author:
With over 40 million novels sold, Jayne Ann Krentz is one of the most commercially successful authors writing today. While she is a household name for her romantic thrillers, many of her more than fifty New York Times bestselling novels were historical and futuristic romance, written under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, respectively. Krentz lives in Seattle, Washington. Learn more online at jayneannkrentz.com.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Excerpt: Bleeder (The Threshold Novels Book 1) by Christi J. Whitney + giveaway

Bleeder (The Threshold Novels Book 1)
by Christi J. Whitney
January 11, 2022
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
What happens when lightning strikes?

Seventeen-year-old Selene Windell doesn’t remember. But ghosts of her accident haunt her – fragments of memories, deep-rooted fears, and a freakish electrical curse she can’t shake.

Can one lightning strike change everything?

Phoebus, a trained soldier from the dimension of Threshold, knows something threatens his homeland. In one flash of light, a girl from the Otherside sees his face, and he has to act – not only to protect the secrecy of his world, but also to protect himself.

Selene wants answers, and the mysterious new boy in town has them. Phoebus has a duty, and the strange Othersider girl stands in his way.

But will they be able to navigate their dark pasts and unrelenting connection before sinister creatures infiltrate Threshold and destroy far more than Selene’s small coastal town?

Excerpt –
Phoebus could see the light.

He’d stood before others just like it—a bluish-white orb, shimmering like a pearl in the midday light. A breeze rustled the trees of the Grove, and their fruit-laden branches creaked in protest. The wind scattered strands of hair across his eyes. He jerked his head to clear them away.

The light remained, emanating like a beacon.

Stepping forward, he flung the fabric of his green cloak behind him and raised his hands toward the light. The metal cuffs at his wrists began to vibrate as a familiar current flowed up his arms. His insides reacted to the surge as well; his entire body hummed with the fiery sensation.

Electricus.

He paused, allowing the energy to scorch through him like a pleasant burn. The back of his neck buzzed, enveloping him with a lightheaded aura—something that felt as natural to him as his own skin.

Reaching out, he traced the pattern of the glowing orb as it hung suspended in midair—its form not solid, yet distinct. Energy crackled as the light pulsed against his fingertips. It left a metallic taste on his tongue, and he savored the flavor, like a spoonful of rich honey.

His fingers stirred the energy, like water on the surface of a lake, as he checked for signs of instabilities or inconsistencies. The Electricus radiating from the orb felt...off. A nagging sensation was beginning to nip at the corner of his mind.

“What do you make of it, Fee?”

He ignored the voice behind him, his attention locked on the light, which pulsed like a beating heart. But there was an erratic skip in the rhythm. A slight flaw, easily missed by someone else. But not him.

Narrowing his eyes to bring the orb into sharper focus, he waited for another glitch. But the pattern remained consistent. As he lowered his hands, the energy dissipated from his skin—a current, slightly disrupted. Nothing else seemed out of the ordinary, but the nagging in his gut remained.

“Well?” said the same voice.

He met eyes with Titus, who was leaning against a tree trunk, with his long, tanned arms crossed over his chest and his longer legs crossed at the ankles. Titus was studying him through strands of untamed curls the wind had whipped across his forehead.

Phoebus felt a muscle jerk in his jaw. The light was nothing more than a Rift—a damaged section of the Barrier that protected their homeland. The Electricus powering the invisible shield had weakened and needed their attention.

But that wasn’t the cause of his uneasiness.


“I’m thinking,” Phoebus replied.


He ignored Titus’ drawn-out sigh. He wasn’t ready to share anything more. Not yet. The glitch could mean many things, and most of them were nothing to worry about.

Most of them.

“It’s just a Rift,” said another voice from his opposite side. Nyx brushed past them, tossing her dark braid over her shoulder. “No reason to keep thinking. Let’s finish this and go home.”

Pushing aside her cloak, Nyx withdrew her a gleaming nadala—the spear-like tool used to repair the Barrier. Like many Rover weapons, it was made of solid amber—a perfect conduit for Electricus.

“Better watch yourself,” said Titus. “You don’t want to end up like Yenna.”

Nyx rounded on him. “You think I’d be so foolish as to sew my own hand into the Barrier, and give myself a trip to the infirmary?”


“I’m only saying—”


Her dark eyes glinted challengingly. “Or are you implying that I have the skills of a novice?”


Titus’ hands rose in surrender. “Of course not.”


“Good. Now, stand aside and let me work.”


As Phoebus watched his Trinemates, he dismissed the wary feeling in his stomach. He was probably overthinking things. Training the young novices over the last several weeks had mentally drained him—nothing a good night’s rest couldn’t cure.

“By all means, Nyx, go right ahead,” Phoebus said, moving aside with a sweep of his arm. “After all, who am I to argue with a lady?”

She arched her brow. “No one of importance, obviously.” “That hurt.”


“No, it didn’t,” she replied, looking him over. “Your skin’s thicker than my boot soles.”
Phoebus allowed himself a smile. Nyx always matched his wit—one of the things he liked about her. She moved with a confident stride and paused in front of the light. As she turned the nadala in her hands, he nodded his permission. She was well-trained in the process of mending the invisible membrane of the Barrier.

Better than anyone he knew.

A comfortable silence fell between them, resting in the knowledge that, despite the danger, this was standard procedure. They were Rovers. The Barrier was their responsibility.

Titus located Rifts. Nyx sewed them up. And he took care of everything else. Another task to complete. And then, it would be back to the Keep for dinner and a tall mug of Hythelberry cider. His stomach rumbled at the thought.

The spear glowed blue as the amber drew Electricus from Nyx’s body, like a magnet attracting fragments of metal. She positioned it at the edge of the Rift, as though the light were simply a piece of fabric and not a deadly concentration of energy. As she pierced the shimmering border with the nadala’s sharp point, the orb shuddered violently, like some living thing.

“In all seriousness, Fee,” said Titus, lowering his voice as he glanced around the meadow, “there’s something else going on here, isn’t there?”

Phoebus kept his face carefully passive.


“What makes you say that?”


“I’m sensing an unusual level of weakness in the Barrier,”

Titus replied. “I don’t know how, but it feels like it’s happening on both sides at the same time.” He frowned heavily. “So no evading the question this time, Fee. What’s going on?”

Inhaling slowly, Phoebus surveyed the Grove. The area was vast, populated with trees in perfect rows. In one direction, they led to the front gates of the city. In the other, they extended to the rolling hills beyond. Bushes, ripe with fruit, hugged the stone paths.

All of it was safely nestled within the confines of the Barrier.

Without that shield, his world was vulnerable. And it was his duty to make sure that never happened. Rubbing the metal cuff on his wrist, he felt it vibrating with the orb’s energy. The indigo sky flashed with lighting, and his chest rattled with an ominous sound. Thunder. The tops of the trees bent under a sudden gust of air. But this wasn’t natural, and the rumbling had nothing to do with the wind.

His skin went cold.

The sensation pierced him, plunging deep into the marrow of his bones—a fierce, erratic concentration of Electricus in the air.

The discharge of energy hit him like a shock.

An unnerving awareness seized hold of him, crowding out the chill. He felt as though he were being...watched. Fighting against the electrical charge inside him, he peered into the light. There was someone was on the other side of the Rift.

She was staring straight back at him.

Phoebus was rooted to the spot, unable to look away. He saw fear in the eyes—a girl’s eyes, a striking shade of hazel, too wide for her face. Every dark freckle spattering her cheeks, every poufy strand of windswept hair, every drop of rain on her brown skin—he saw the details as sharp as glass. Then a horrible, chilling realization struck him like whip.

She could see him.

The atmosphere crackled. Purple storm clouds swirled above him, but he couldn’t take his eyes from the girl. The ground vibrated under his feet, and the trees wailed in the wind.

The Rift had to be closed. Now.

About the Author
Website-FB-TwitterChristi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a weakness for sci-fi/fantasy conventions and superhero films. She loves a hot cup of coffee, a plate of sushi, and a good book—though not necessarily in that order.

Christi is the author of the YA fantasy series The Romany Outcasts, which includes the novels Grey, Shadow, and Midnight (published with HarperCollinsUK). Christi lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with family or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Walt Disney World, Christi can be found directing plays for the theatre, making costumes for both stage and cosplay, geeking out over Doctor Who, defending the house of green and silver, and always pretending she’s a tad bit British.

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Excerpt: Fate Hollow Academy: Term 1 by Lyra Winters + giveaway

Fate Hollow Academy: Term 1
by Lyra Winters
January 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance
Welcome to Fate Hollow Academy, where supernaturals blessed by the Fates cultivate their manifested powers and master ancient magic.

Fate Hollow is the academy of the elite, where supernatural beings with special magic train for war against humans.

A big-hearted, naïve arctic fox shifter like me couldn’t have prepared for the treachery lurking within the walls of the academy. Students were going missing or turning up dead on campus and rumors circulated about humans infiltrating academy grounds.

Seeds of fear bloomed within the student body. To make matters worse, the mate that rejected me was hellbent on painting a bright red target on my back with the help of his new girlfriend.

Against all odds, I found refuge with seven irresistible monsters, each one more different from the last.

Would the bond of my mates be enough to manifest my hidden power? Without it, I was vulnerable. And with a dragon cult attempting to wage war on humans, I had no choice but to fight.

EXCERPT:
“What did you do?” My voice came out as a whisper.

“I feed off your pain.” His gaze darted to my lips and back. “Just like what I was doing as you slept.”

“Like healing?”

He snorted a laugh, his shoulders pulling up as his body shook. “Fuck no. I’m not a healer. I cause pain.”

“And yet you took mine away?” I tilted my head, my hair sliding across my shoulder as it shifted sides.

His hand moved from the top of my head to the back, and he pulled me closer until his nose brushed against mine. He sucked in a sharp breath as if he surprised himself. “What’re you doing to me, little bird?”

Sparks of excitement shot off through my body, crackling down my nerve endings. His breath fanned over my lips, and a new kind of hunger clawed its way to the front of my mind.

My mind was buzzing with so many desires, and I firmly clamped my hands on my thighs so I wouldn’t reach out and touch him.

I wasn’t used to socializing, but something told me what I wanted to do to him wasn’t normal.

“Why do I feel like this?” he asked, moving his hand from the back of my head to grip my chin between his index finger and thumb.

“I…”

“You what?” He turned my head to the side before leaning in and letting his lips glide against my cheek and down my jaw. “What do you feel when I touch you?”

“Overwhelmed.” My throat tightened.

“Not the emotion I would’ve guessed.” He pulled back, letting his hand drop to his lap. Confusion lines settled on his face as he studied mine. “Tell me what makes you overwhelmed.”

About the Author:
Lyra Winters is a twenty-something Kentucky woman who adores the book world. When she's not typing away on her laptop or daydreaming book ideas, Lyra is occupying her time taking care of her two spunky daughters and dreamy husband. She's addicted to Coca-Cola, 2000s rap music, and bubble baths. Her dream is to write love stories that touch the reader's hearts.

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Friday, January 14, 2022

The Scent of a Man Series by Veralyn Keach + giveaway

Half Vampire/ Half-Man (The Scent of a Man Book 1)
by Veralyn Keach
May 6, 2021
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Ariel Landford realized she was about to enter a whole new life when Damian Vanburg suddenly appeared. Half Vampire/Half Man.

Will Ariel lose one man to the scent of another or will she lose everything, including her life?





Book Trailer:

EXCERPT
Surrounded by darkness and heartache, Ariel Landford felt like a ticking time bomb.

Behind closed eyes, Ariel could hear the busy streets of—of where? The busy streets of…. She didn't know. And the smell of—surely of her best friend’s bakery. ...Or was it? Where was she?

Ariel couldn't move her lower legs and although she wanted to open her eyes they would not. Was she even conscious? This must all be a dream. But she could hear cars, horns, buses, and people passing. Surely they must see her?

This was all Gabriel Stones’ fault!

---/--/---/--/--

Gabriel and Ariel were celebrating their wedding engagement in Kansas City. Being from Chicago, brought them closer to his family.

Ariel had them packed and ready to go after breakfast. There was little conversation, just the pleasantries. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and they were off to get showered and dressed.

It was a beautiful spring day. They talked, sang, and continued as though everything was normal on their drive. Gabriel even promised to fix the kitchen sink when they returned home. It meant a lot to her. He wanted to please her, but this concerned her too because he was no Mr. Fix It.

When they arrived, Gabriel kissed her hand before releasing it. Surprisingly, he held her hand for most of the ride. It was as if he couldn’t get enough of her, would not be seeing her for a while, and had already missed her. He was acting as a man in love should but a little out of his character. Regardless, there was no doubt that he still loved her.

The valet took their keys and once inside the party’s banquet room and foyer area Ariel could see it was huge and being catered by Tina Marias. The staff was dressed classy in white and black tuxedo style uniforms with black shiny shoes.

There were only supposed to be 100-150 in attendance. It appeared that many of the guests had already arrived and Ariel mingled but stayed by Gabriel’s side. She had no family here and knew no one. She had no surviving family. Gabriel was all she had.

The event turned out gorgeous as Tina decided on a vintage-themed wedding engagement party.

Everyone was dressed in light and breezy vintage wear. The room was adorned in red velvet, brick accents, and fully set tables of vintage to match but with white roses mixed in red. There was so much white too that it all appeared angelic.

Ariel wore a white vintage dress that made her feel like she was partying at the Gatsby’s House. Very nostalgic and taking one back in time. She received so much praise on her choice of dress and how much it brought out the green in her eyes, as well as the shine of her auburn red hair with blonde highlights.

Gabriel was tall and lean with deep brown eyes, dark short hair, and a smile to die for. He looked dashing in a vintage Sailsbury green suit with matching shoes.

They all sat down to a lovely dinner. They enjoyed New England Clam Chowder Soup, Antipasto, Salmon with Pilaf, and Broccoli. For dessert, they devoured hot Apple Pie with Ice Cream on top.

The icing on the cake was the timeless sounds of Anita Baker singing, Sweet Love, softly in the background.

“Ariel, would you like to dance?” Gabriel asked.

While beaming with a glow of happiness, Ariel responded, “Yes.”

Ariel always loved how just the touch of his hand could make her blush with thoughts of their lovemaking. His scent drove her to weakened knees. And when he placed his hand upon the small of her back she breathed in and released it slowly with contentment.

As they danced, Gabriel’s lips touched her ear, running shockwaves through her body and he whispered, “You look beautiful today. Just know that I will always love you, Ariel.”

He said it like a goodbye was coming.

Her contentment quickly and abruptly ended.

“Let’s step out onto the balcony, I need to speak with you,” said Gabriel. “It’s important.”

He chose what was to be an “us” moment and admitted to finding him another; he just didn’t love her anymore. Turning their moment into a goodbye. A very cold one. He couldn’t even look her in the eyes when he spoke. Almost robotic.

He just proclaimed his love for her and now there is another? No way.

How could he put her through a trip, party, and then dance with her as if all were well between them? This made no sense. He had never functioned as if there was another. Quite the opposite. His breakup sounded forced.

Ariel was so devastated; he was all she had in the world. Her eyes filled with tears and she was so embarrassed that she just ran off down Barley Avenue. She ran frantically onto a busy city street with blurred eyes; unable to see.

Screeeeeeech …. Everything went black

Wolves & Vamps (The Scent of a Man Book 2)

Newborn Army (The Scent of a Man Book 3)

The Covenant (The Scent of a Man Book 4)

Half Breed (The Scent of a Man Book 5)

The Change (The Scent of a Man Book 6)

The Morachis (The Scent of a Man Book 7)
Add to Goodreads

Also by Veralyn Keach:

Then Came You
by Veralyn Keach
Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the Author
Veralyn Keach is the writer and author of the new Fiction/Fantasy/Romance Paranormal Vampire series, "The Scent Of A Man." As well as the Romance Novella “Then Came You.” She resides in Port St Lucie, Florida, and when she's not writing she is glued to Netflix or Hulu!

This has been an exciting time for her to write this series about vampires, werewolves, and romance because she grew up reading and watching fiction/fantasy/paranormal/young adult books and movies, which is the category for which her series falls under. If this is you too, you are the perfect reader for this series.

Giveaway
$20 Amazon
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